Stories about government

Petrol shortages: Please don’t blame the government…

After a long and relatively blissful slump in the price of petrol, it was increased by Rs4 in the beginning of the month of April, much to the dismay of the public. This is the beginning of the end of long drives and unnecessary trips to anywhere. The reasons cited are as varied as the different kinds of Shan Biryani Masalas you get in the market (I am not getting paid for this, it only counts towards ‘interest in the kitchen’ points with my mom). They range from ‘rising oil prices worldwide’ to an ‘intricate Saudi conspiracy that will alter the very fabric of ...

Read Full Post

Is Zardari trying to replace a joint session in Parliament with the APC?

Opposition parties, under the leadership of Mr Asif Ali Zardari, have asked the government to call an All Parties Conference (APC) for deliberation and decision on Pakistan’s role in the Yemen conflict. A trend that has recently become all too common in the political scene of Pakistan, APCs are a way to bypass Parliament and put weight behind chosen leaders of political parties, instead of their elected representatives in the National Assembly and Senate. From an APC that discussed and decided to hold talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in 2013, to the APC which contemplated a plan of action to deal with the TTP after their brazen ...

Read Full Post

Militancy does not hamper vaccinations in Pakistan – our negligence does!

In a country already strife with political, economic and social malaises, it is truly heart-breaking to see the gross negligence and inadequacy of the government costing the country millions of dollars and, more importantly, millions of lives. Pakistan just wasted 1.3 million doses of vaccine worth $3.7 million donated by UNICEF to protect children from deadly diseases. The vaccines had to be stored in cold temperatures to remain effective but, according to a Health Ministry official, the frequent power outage was the main cause of the loss, as top management failed to address the problem despite complaints by lower staff. Two officials have been suspended over ...

Read Full Post

Why getting your SIM verified is important

The process of biometric verification for all existing SIMs is quite tiring, for telecoms and users alike. So why then is our government persistent on getting every SIM verified? Eons ago, when we were gripped by the frenzy of issuing different SIMs and used to boast about having two to three lines all to ourselves, no one could imagine that we’d have to retrace all our SIMs and get them verified. Some people had their SIMs issued under the names of their deceased beloveds and they are quite perplexed about how to get that biometrically verified. Those who have SIM’s issued under ...

Read Full Post

Perhaps Pakistan can learn from Austria’s madrassas

A year before a mosque in Kanpur (pre-partition India) was razed by our British overlords to pave way for a road, and while a Jinnah-less Muslim League was yet to overhaul its objectives – which until then asserted that ‘the party shall work towards manifesting a sense of loyalty to Britain’ – to work towards creation of a Muslim majority state (Pakistan was still a very distant idea), Austria passed a remarkably inclusive law, setting an example for the rest of the European countries. In 1912, Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph passed an act guaranteeing its small minority of Muslims royal patronage by making Islam ...

Read Full Post

Seventy-eight rupees

It was my neighbour who suggested I should go to them. She said it was my last hope. “Where are we going Amma?” my six-year-old asked me over the sound of the rickshaw. “Just someplace,” I said dismissively. What was I to tell her? That we were going to a place that was my ‘last hope’. It was her last hope too. The rickshaw driver stopped in front of an old, small building in the midst of noisy Saddar. With a heavy heart, I paid him Rs200, what we had agreed on. How would we go back? Maybe the NGO people could lend us money. When we walked inside ...

Read Full Post

I thought he was a beggar-child…

I was deep in my thoughts, standing at the railway station, when a slight tug on my shirt startled me. Averting my gaze towards the source of the tug, I saw a child. A sense of pity washed over; I took out some money from my pocket and tried to give it to the child, but he refused to take it. Feeling even more empathetic towards him, I gently took his small palm into my hands and placed the money there. Suddenly, a man came rushing towards us, “He is not a beggar! You look smart enough to know that!” he ...

Read Full Post

Pakistani Twitterati took on the #PetrolShortage and here is what happened

Already frustrated by crippling electricity and gas shortages, Pakistanis now have another crisis on their hands. This time around, Pakistanis are standing in mammoth queues just to secure a drop of petrol. The ‘petrol crisis’, as it is being referred, brought to light some interesting and entertaining observations on the country’s favourite government-bashing platform: Twitter. Three hashtags are currently being used to respond to the petrol shortage in the country; #PMLNpetrolchor was the top trend, with it being used over 19,500 times in the past 24 hours and #PetrolShortage and #SherBanoSher were each tweeted nearly 6,000 times since yesterday. We look at how people reacted: This @Reuters report ...

Read Full Post

Four things Imran Khan did right at the Larkana rally

With success of the massive public gathering in Larkana, Imran Khan has made a knock-on effect on Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Whilst everyone in the political arena was waiting for the outcome of this rally, many said it would be difficult for the cricketer-turned-politician to gain a foothold in Sindh – often considered the political backyard of the PPP; others were counting on his failure, hoping that this jalsa would be the cause of Imran’s fall. However, on the contrary, Imran made a very strong statement; a show of strength, attracting a healthy crowd at the Larkana rally and, therefore, creating a serious stir ...

Read Full Post

Thar: A picture of negligence

Almost every year, Thar makes it to the headlines. Whenever metropolitans like Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad or Peshawar face some kind of energy crisis, ministers begin using the idea of Thar coal reserves as a solution for the country’s never-ending energy issues. The government remembers Thar when it comes to coal reserves, but why does it conveniently turn a blind eye when the people of Thar die of hunger and famine? Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has been ruling Sindh since the past six year. Six years is enough time for a provincial government to understand, evaluate and solve issues like the drought in ...

Read Full Post